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RCAF Shoulder Titles

August 24 2005 at 5:59 PM

Don Zorniak  (Login Zorniak)
Forum Member
from IP address 24.79.172.195

I have recently added RCAF to my WW2 re-enacting interests.

The air force end does not seem as clear cut and well defined as it was for my army research.

While terrorizing Ontario this summer I took the opportunity to visit the war plane museum as well as the RCAF museum in Trenton. A couple of hundred photos later and after talking to a less than helpful curator at the Trenton stop I felt I was well on my way with my uniform concerns.

I was recently gifted a pristine war dated suit aircrew blouse (about 99% nap) and rather than compromise this item I invested in a repro aircrew suit. I got it ready for the VJ Day celebrations here in Winnipeg and wore it to add some historical colour to an event that had a dismal public showing. (That will be saved for another rant.)

Now for my RCAF uniform concerns.

I know that the greatest number of you out there portray RAF officer types. I waffled over NCO ground crew but settled on a RCAF Sgt AG.

All was well and fine until this week when I started to do more digging. Ploughing through my piles of books I am finding out some very strange things about the shoulder titles on aircrew suits for RCAF as a result of studying the photos. These photos were taken in England according to the credits.

Some NCO blouses had:

1. Canada over the eagle
2. The eagle only
3. Canada only on an NCO
4. No shoulder title at all

In the museum photos I have evidence of 1 and 2 from above but not 3 and 4.

The original blouse I have has evidence of only the Canada title as shown by a slight crushing of the wool.

Now what is correct? I know all about the 10 yard rule (been there, seen horrendous stuff up close).

Was the war time economy such that as long as they had a body to put in a plane, they would worry about uniformity at a later date? Besides that only one in five made it back. Or was there no hard and fast rule? I know the army has all kinds of exceptions based on regimental traditions, the air force is less likely so.

My service dress uniform is less of a concern.

I have more questions to ask and get your minds going.

Later for those.

PS Thank you to Chris Kanca for your help on my last post regarding service dress sizes.

Cheers

Don
Winnipeg

 
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